It seemed like just another, regular every day at the Monkees Pad. Peter was on the phone with his girlfriend, Valerie Cartwright, Davy was reading the newspaper, and Micky and Mike were playing cards. Once Peter hung up with Valerie, there was a knock on the door. Davy got up, and opened the door to the window in the door so he could see who it is (although he was too short to see). He opened the door, and standing there was a Western Union man.
"Telegram for Peter Tork," he said.
"That's me," Peter said, as he walked over. He accepted the telegram, and opened it.
"Hey, how 'bout a tip?" the Western Union man asked.
"Buy International Steel at twenty-eight and a half," Mike said, crossing the room to the door. The minute he said that, he shut the door and leaned against it.
"One of these days, these guys are gonna get pretty fed up with that," Micky said. "What's the telegram say, Peter?"
"It's from my mother," Peter said. "Dad's stationed in France, stop. Nick, Chris, and Annie looking forward to it, stop. Fluey's being difficult, stop. Wants to stay in the states, stop. We're sending him out to stay with you . . . ."
"Stop!" Mike shouted.
"How'd you know that's what it said?" Peter asked.
"First of all, who in the world is Fluey?" Mike asked, ignoring Peter's question.
"Yeah, I thought you only had two brothers," Micky said.
"I do," Peter said. "Fluey's my nephew. He's twelve. He'll be thirteen in September."
"You must be joking!" Davy shouted. "'Ow in the world can you 'ave a twelve-year-old nephew, when your only sistah is about the same age 'erself?!"
"Annie isn't my only sister," Peter said. "I never told you guys this, but I have an older sister named Janet. A much older sister. She was eight when I was born. When I was eight, she got pregnant and had Fluey."
"What in the world kind of a name is Fluey anyway?" Mike asked, giving Peter a strange look.
"That's sort of a long story," Peter said. "Jan wasn't thrilled at the prospect of being pregnant, but she had the baby anyway, and she said to just name him the next thing out of her mouth. Well, Chris asked what was in this IV that Jan was hooked up to, and she said fluid, and my parents held her to what she said."
"Fluid?" Davy asked, giving Peter a look. "I can't picture a parent actually naming their kid that."
"You don't know my sister," Peter said. Davy couldn't argue with him there. "Anyway, a couple of months after Fluey was born, Jan said she was going out, and then she never came back. My parents raised him. When we were in Connecticut, which was where he was born, we told everyone that Mom had him."
"That's not a good idea," Mike said. "If he grew up thinkin' his grandmother is his mother, and his mother is his sister . . . ."
"Hold it a minute, Mike," Peter said. "Let me explain. Once Fluey was old enough, we told him the truth, but we had to tell him to call my parents Mom and Dad whenever we were out in public, and I was supposed to be his big brother. When he was ten, he got tired of that, and just figured let people think what they want, he doesn't care. So when we moved again, he started calling Mom and Dad Grandma and Grandpa, and my siblings Uncle Nick, Uncle Chris, and Aunt Anne."
"What about Uncle Peter?" Micky asked.
"Oh, I moved out when he was eight or nine," Peter said. "He didn't take it well. We were kind of close. So now, I guess my parents are moving again, and Fluey's putting his foot down. It's those teenage hormones I guess. Like I said, he's turning thirteen in September."
"When does it say he'll be here?" Mike asked.
"Tomorrow," Peter said, looking at the telegram. "So how about it, Mike? Can he stay here? Huh, can he, huh?"
"No," Mike said, shaking his head. "No, absolutely not. No way, no how."
"Aw, come on, Mike!" Peter shouted.
"Yeah, Mike, what's wrong with that?" Davy asked.
"We can't afford it!" Mike shouted. "We can barely afford the four of us livin' here! What's gonna happen when Babbit finds out we're bringin' a fifth person in?"
"Aw, come on, he'll love Fluey!" Peter shouted. "He's a groovy kid. And Mr. Babbit said that he loved kids!"
"That was before I asked him to keep an eye on those kids when we played at Millie Rudnick's weddin'," Mike said. "The answer is no!"
The phone rang just then. Mike picked it up.
"Hello?" he asked. "Aunt Zelda! Hey, good to hear from ya. I haven't heard from you or Aunt Hilda in a long time! What's up? Uh huh. Uh huh. Tomorrow? Well, I don't know . . . . Pete's nephew's flyin' in tomorrow too, I don't know if that's such a good time for you two to . . . . well . . . . urgent? Well, what's so urgent? Yes, I realized I just turned twenty-one, what's that got to do with . . . . uh huh. Well, why can't you tell me over the phone? Why not? Well . . . . oh all right. I'll come pick you guys up at the airport tomorrow at . . . . . hey, Pete, do we have to pick up your nephew?"
"No, Mom's actually coming to drop him off," Peter said.
"Okay," Mike replied, and he went back to the phone. "I'll be there around noon. Okay. Okay, see you guys then. Bye."
"What was that all about?" Davy asked, as Mike hung up the phone.
"That was my Aunt Zelda from Massachusetts," Mike said. "She and my Aunt Hilda are comin' in tomorrow. They said they have somethin' important to tell me. They would've told me on my twenty-first birthday, but they couldn't make it over. So they're just gonna tell me now."
"What is it?" Micky asked.
"Beats me," Mike said with a shrug. "They wouldn't tell me. They said it was too big to tell me over the phone. In any case, Pete, I'll give Babbit the heads up over the kid, and we'll let him live here for a week or so and see how things go."
"Thanks, Mike!" Peter shouted. "You're the best!"
"Yeah, I am, aren't I?" Mike asked.
"You're also very modest," Micky said, giving Mike a thump in the shoulder.
Mike glared at Micky, and walked over to the couch to read the newspaper. Davy and Micky just shrugged. They knew Mike wasn't crazy about kids. But they were, so they asked Peter to tell them everything about Fluey. Before Peter could get far, there was a knock on the door.
"That can't possibly be your mothah," Davy said.
"It's not my aunts, either," Mike said.
"Maybe it's Reggie," Micky said. "Or Quacky, or Jerry. I hope."
Micky was referring to some friends he and the other three Monkees had met recently, Reggie Bushroot, John Allen Quackerstein (everybody called him Quacky for short), and Jerry Blavat. Micky and Reggie had met on the beach and instantly clicked. Davy met Quacky down at the library, trying to get a date with the head librarian's niece. Quacky had his beak buried in a book, and he and Davy had run into each other, literally. Jerry had met all four Monkees at once, during a mix band contest at the local TV station. It turned into a disaster, but Mike and Jerry became good friends afterwards.
In any case, Micky walked over to the door, opened it, and then slammed it immediately.
"Nyaaaahhhhh . . . ." he said nervously.
"What?" Peter asked.
"Well it ain't Reggie or Quacky or Jerry!" Micky shouted.
"Don't tell me," Mike said. "It's Babbit, right?"
"No," Micky said. "But you're close!"
Mike walked over and opened the door. The minute he did, he wanted to slam it right then and there. Standing at their door was none other than Mr. Zero, a devil the Monkees had delt with when Peter sold his soul for the ability to play the harp. Mike had proven that Zero hadn't given him the ability to play the harp.
"Zero!" he shouted.
"What ah you doing 'ere?" Davy asked.
"I've come to collect of course," Mr. Zero said.
"You must be joking!" Davy shouted. "You can't possibly collect anything! Mike proved you didn't give Petah the ability to play the harp!"
"Yes, I'm aware of that," Mr. Zero said, giving Mike a dirty look. "However, Peter had no money to pay for the harp. I am owed something for it."
"Oops," Peter said.
"Oh Petah!" Davy groaned, smacking his hand against his forehead.
"Why dontcha just repossess that stupid harp and get the heck outta here?" Mike asked.
"Mike, I can't give the harp back!" Peter shouted. "I can play it now! I really can! Even without Mr. Zero's help! I wanted to show Fluey when he came!"
"He can keep his precious harp," Mr. Zero said. "I just would like a payment for it."
"What did you have in mind?" Mike asked. "And it had better not be somebody's soul, buster!"
"This is between myself and Peter," Mr. Zero said, turning to the blond Monkee. "Now I'm sure we can reach an agreement. You'd be willing to give up something for the harp, wouldn't you?"
"Well, it depends on what it is," Peter said.
"Now, instead of your soul, would you be willing to give me something of equal or greater value?"
"Just tell me if that sounds fair to you."
"Monkee Huddle!" Micky shouted, and he, Davy, Mike, and Peter got into a circle and began talking it over (and the word "rhubarb" showed up in there).
"Okay," Peter said. "You can have something of equal or greater value than my soul. But I can't think of what in the world is worth that much, except my ability to play music and sing."
"Oh don't worry about that, Peter," Mr. Zero said. "I shall return."
And with that, Zero disappeared. The others looked a little nervous, wondering if they made the right decision in allowing Zero to come back and take something of Peter's that was worth as much, or more than his soul. But they decided not to worry about it until the time came. The moment was forgotten when Davy asked Peter to continue telling him and Micky about Fluey. Mike let their voices fade into the background. He was suddenly feeling strange. He couldn't really place it. He felt all right, he was positive he wasn't coming down with something, but yet, he just felt strange. He sat down, and started to read the newspaper again.
That night, Mike had a difficult time falling asleep. There was a full moon outside, and it just made him feel stranger than he did before. He kept tossing and turning, but he just couldn't seem to get to sleep.
"Hey, Mike, you okay?" Micky asked, quietly, so he wouldn't wake up Peter and Davy.
"Yeah, I just can't sleep," Mike said. "I'm gettin' this funny feelin' . . . . I can't really tell you what it is. Maybe Aunt Zelda will know. She's a scientist."
"Well, you'd better try to get some sleep," Micky said. "Peter's mother called and she said she's coming in early."
Mike nodded, and tried to relax. Finally, sleep caught up with him. But he had a strange dream that night. He was in the bedroom of the Pad. Micky, Davy, and Peter were sound asleep. Mike was in a subconscious state of mind, or so he thought, and he was levitating off the bed as he slept.
The next morning, Micky was shoving Pop Tarts in the toaster, while Peter was pouring a bowl of Corn Flakes. Davy wasn't there. Mike figured he was still asleep.
"Where's Davy?" Mike asked, as he walked into the kitchen.
"Oh he went out to Doughnut Hut," Micky said. "Said something about picking up some breakfast."
"You sure he didn't go just to pick up the chick that works behind the counter?" Mike asked. "Micky, would you please stop doin' that? You can't fit an entire box of Pop Tarts in a toaster that size!"
"I'm not putting a whole box of Pop Tarts in the toaster Mike!" Micky shouted.
"I'm putting two whole boxes in!"
Before Mike could stop him, Micky pushed the button. It didn't take long before the toaster burst into flames.
"Yike!" Micky shouted. "Mike, do something!"
"Well, what the heck do ya want me to do?!" Mike shouted. "You were the one who was shovin' those stupid Pop Tarts in the toaster! Ya can't fit that many into the darn thing! It's bound to go up in flames that way!"
As Mike was yelling, he pointed his index finger at the flaming toaster. The flames died down, but the toaster began rumbling, and it finally blew to bits, sending blackened Pop Tarts flying to the ceiling, and they stuck there.
"We lose more toasters that way," Peter said.
There was a bang on the front door just then. Micky went to answer it, and it turned out to be the Monkees landlord, Mr. Babbit.
"All right, you guys," he said. "What was that explosion I heard up here a few minutes ago?"
"Oh nothin' much," Mike said, shooting the smoldering toaster (or what was left of it) with a fire extinguisher. "Micky just blew up the toaster, that's all."
"Again?" Mr. Babbit asked.
"Yeah, it was the Pop Tarts this time," Micky said, just as one fell from the ceiling, and hit Mr. Babbit in the head. "Want one?"
"Eh, no thanks," Mr. Babbit said. "I don't eat charcoal."
And with that Mr. Babbit left, mumbling to himself. Just as he left, Davy came through the back door with two dozen doughnuts and four cups of coffee.
"Who wants coffee and doughnuts?" he asked.
"Sounds good to me," Mike said. "Why'd you get so many, Davy?"
"Well, you know Micky's an eating machine," Davy said. "And Petah's nephew is twelve, going on thirteen, and boys that age 'ave enormous appetites. Besides, Charlene gave me a good discount. Two dozen for the price of one dozen, on the stipulation I go out with 'er tomorrow night."
"I might've known," Mike grumbled, grabbing a doughnut from the box. Just as he bit into it, there was another knock at the door.
"Could somebody else get that?" Mike asked. "I'm startin' to get a headache!"
Peter nodded, and went to answer the door. He opened the window to see who it was and smiled as he opened the door all the way. Standing there was his mother, Virginia Thorkleson, and a twelve-year-old boy with thick black hair, brown eyes, and a mouth full of metal braces.
"Hi Mom!" Peter shouted, enthusiastically, as he hugged his mother. Then he turned to the boy. "Fluey! Is that really you?"
"You were expecting maybe Joe DiMaggio?" Fluey asked.
"Oh my gosh, look at you!" Peter shouted, as he swept his nephew into an enormous hug. "Look at you! You've gotten so big!"
"Why do all the relatives say that to me?" Fluey asked, returning his uncle's hug.
"Because you've grown so much in three years, sweetie," Virginia said.
"Right," Peter said. "When did you get braces?"
"Right after you left," Fluey said. "All those years sucking on a pacifier caught up with me."
"That was the only way you'd be quiet," Virginia said.
"Yeah, he was a screamer," Peter said. Then he changed the subject. "Mom, you remember my room mates, Davy, Micky, and Mike, right?"
"This is your nephew?" Mike asked. "Looks more like a relative of mine!"
"Yeah, now that I think about it," Davy said. "We were sort of picturing 'im to 'ave blond 'air like yours, Pete."
"Everybody says that," Fluey said, rolling his eyes.
"We think he looks more like his father," Virginia said. "Whoever that may be."
"Grandma . . . ." Fluey said, in a warning tone.
"He doesn't like it when someone starts on about his parents," Virginia said. "Especially his father, since nobody knows who he is, and Jan never told us."
"Aren't you gonna miss your plane, Grandma?" Fluey asked, somewhat impatiently.
"Trying to get rid of me, huh?" Virginia asked, as she put down the suitcase she was carrying. Fluey did the same thing. "All right then. I guess I'll be going. Now, you be a good boy and do everything your uncle tells you to, all right?"
"Yeah, I know the drill, Grandma, sheesh," Fluey said. Then he turned to Peter. "She does this all the time 'cause I'm the youngest."
"I know the feeling, mate," Davy said.
"Okay," Virginia said. "Peter, I'll talk to you later. Take care."
"Give my love to Dad, Nick, Chris, and Annie," Peter said, hugging his mother.
Virginia kissed her son and her grandson goodbye, and then left. Fluey closed the door, and wiped off his face with his sleeve.
"Yeecchhh!" he shouted. "Why does Grandma have to get so mushy?"
"She just does," Peter said, shrugging. "You hungry?"
"Do fish swim?" Fluey said. "What have you guys got to eat?"
"Well, we've got doughnuts or charcoal," Mike said. "Take your pick."
"On the ceilin'."
Fluey gave Mike a strange look, and looked up at the ceiling. He saw the Pop Tarts there, and one fell to the floor. Fluey looked at it, and kicked it a little bit.
"Where are the doughnuts?" he asked. "And please don't tell me they're somewhere weird."
"Follow me," Peter said, and the four of them went into the kitchen. The first thing Fluey saw when he got in there was the toaster, which was now just a big, black pile of smoking, melting metal.
"What the heck is that?!" he shouted.
"Heh, heh, heh, don't ask," Micky said, through gritted teeth. He gave Fluey a pat on the head, which the twelve-year-old didn't particularly care for.
"Yeah, okay," he said, pushing Micky's hand away. "Just never do that to me again. You could get hurt that way."
"Why's that?" Micky asked, thinking how could he possibly get hurt patting a kid on the head.
Fluey didn't say anything. He just looked over at one of the wooden chairs around the kitchen table, and ran his hand along the top of the back of it. Then he took a couple of steps back, and held his hand up.
"Hah!" he shouted, karate chopping the back of the chair, right down the middle.
"Since when do you know karate?" Peter asked.
"I started taking lessons a couple of months ago," Fluey said. "I've already got my yellow belt."
Peter was impressed. Obviously, Fluey had come a long way from being the eight-year-old he left when he moved out to Los Angeles. He had gone from a bubblegum chewing, cartoon watching, school kid, to a smart alecky, karate chopping, braces wearing pre-teen. Peter also realized he was at the age where he would start to notice girls, and then there'd be a lot of talk about the birds and the bees. He took a deep breath and sat down.
"What's wrong, Pete?" Micky asked.
"I just realized we are about to enter into the world of raising a teenager," he said. "And you all know what that will lead to!"
"Oh yeah," Davy nodded. "The Talk."
"Let me tell you 'bout the birds, and the bees, and flowers, and the trees," Micky sang.
"I'd love to stay and talk turkey," Mike said.
"Gobble, gobble, gobble," Micky joked. Mike glared at him.
"But I've got to go pick up my aunts at the airport," he said.
And with that, Mike went out to the Monkee Mobile, leaving the others at the Pad to polish off the rest of the doughnuts. His aunts from Massachusetts, Hilda and Zelda Spellman, were arriving at the airport at ten thirty. They were right on time, but Mike ended up being late.
"He's late," Zelda said.
"I know," Hilda replied. "But we can't expect him to be totally punctual all the time."
Mike came dashing down the terminal at that moment. He tried to skid to a halt before he crashed into his aunts. As he stopped, he heard the sound of squealing tires, and looked around confused.
"You might want to get those fixed," Hilda said, teasing.
"Yeah," Mike said. "Sorry I'm late. Pete's nephew dropped in earlier than I thought, Micky blew up the toaster, and then I got stuck in traffic."
"Again?" Hilda asked. "What did he do this time?"
"Oh, he was tryin' to shove two boxes worth of Pop Tarts in the darn thing," Mike said. "After it caught on fire, it sort of blew up. Strangest thing, though. It didn't blow up and turn into a smolderin' hunk of black metal the last time he tried to shove too many Pop Tarts in there."
Hilda and Zelda looked at each other and followed Mike out to the Monkee Mobile. It was somewhat of a quiet ride home. Neither Hilda nor Zelda were speaking, and neither was Mike.
"So . . . ." Mike said. "What's this thing you couldn't talk to me about over the phone?"
"We'll wait until we're at your house," Zelda said. "We have to be alone."
"We are alone, Aunt Zelda," Mike said. "You two are the only other ones in the car!"
"We know, Mike," Hilda said. "But we don't want to tell you while you're driving. You might run off the road."
Mike did not understand that at all. It was back to silence, with the exception of the Monkee Mobile rolling down the highway to the Pad. Once they walked inside the beach house, Mike saw a note from the others on the table.
"Mike, went down to the beach, see you later, the guys," Mike read. "Okay, so now we're completely alone. What's goin' on?"
"Sit down, Mike," Zelda said. "We have something very important to tell you. And it's not an easy thing to tell you. See, you just turned twenty-one, and we would have told you on your birthday, but we couldn't, because we couldn't visit you then."
"Now, since you've turned twenty-one," Hilda said. "Have you been experiencing any . . . . . strange happenings?"
"Well, other than running into a devil I thought I'd seen the last of," Mike said. "But that has to do mostly with Peter and a harp. And I did have a dream last night where I was floatin'. It was kinda weird though. I was asleep, but it also felt like I was awake at the same time. Then there's the whole toaster explosion."
"That would explained the burnt Pop Tarts on the ceiling," Hilda said, looking up.
"Snap your fingers," Zelda said.
"What?" Mike asked.
"Snap your fingers," Zelda said. "Come on, Mike."
Mike shrugged, and snapped his fingers. But he didn't see what that was going to do. The moment he snapped, a lamp on the table blew. Mike was so startled, he nearly jumped a mile. He caught his breath, and sat back down. Hilda and Zelda exchanged a glance.
"I knew it," Zelda said.
"You knew what?" Mike asked.
"You're a witch," Zelda said.
"I'm a what?!" Mike yelled, standing up.
"Not a what," Hilda said. "A witch."
"But . . . . but I can't be a witch!" Mike shouted. "I'm a boy! Shouldn't that be warlock? What am I sayin'?! I can't be that, either!"
"But you are," Zelda said. "You're a witch."
"And so am I," Hilda said. "And so is Zelda, and so is your mother, and so is Kate, and Uncle Will, and Uncle Fried, and . . . . ."
"I get the idea," Mike said. "But how . . . . how in the world can I . . . . wait a sec. My mom's a witch? Does that mean my father's a witch, too?"
"No, Warren is a mortal," Zelda said. "So that makes you only half witch."
"Man . . . . somethin' tells me that had somethin' to do with my parents' divorce," Mike said.
"Oh, Mike, really," Zelda groaned.
"Okay, so if you and Aunt Hilda are witches," Mike continued. "Does that mean Uncle Ted and Aunt Diana are too?"
"No, only Ted is," Zelda said. "And Diana is mortal."
"Well, what about Sabrina?" Mike asked, talking about his favorite cousin in the entire world, Sabrina Spellman, who was about Fluey's age.
"She's half witch, too," Hilda said. "The thing is if a mortal woman marries a witch, the daughters inherit the powers, and if a mortal man marries a witch, then the sons inherit the powers. But Sabrina won't get her powers until she's sixteen."
"Hold it, how come I didn't get mine then?" Mike asked.
"Because our branches of the family are different," Zelda said. "Some get them when they're born, others get them when they reach a certain age, and you happened to get them when you turned twenty-one. You don't have all of them yet, though.
"This is a little much for me to take in," Mike said, holding his hand to his head. "Better tell me straight from the top."
Hilda and Zelda nodded and began a story. Once upon a time, in a land known as Magic Hollow, there were two witches named Apolla Spellman and Artemis McMurray. Apolla was known as the Daughter of the Sun, and Artemis was known as the Son of the Moon. They were married, and began developing all kinds of powers. They had many children and grandchildren. Eventually, the branches of the McMurray family and the Spellman family grew, and the magics between them grew as well. Since there were so many members of the Spellman and McMurray family, it was impossible to keep track of them all. Usually, the witches in the family stuck to each other, but there were instances where they would marry mortals. Though some divisions of the council were stricter than others. In the Spellman division, if a half witch comes face to face with their mortal parent, the mortal parent turns into a ball of wax. The McMurray division of the council is much more lenient, since it had been headed by Friedhelm and Willhelm Westerman. So as time went by, Mike's mother, Bette McMurray met Warren Nesmith, and the two were married. Mike was born, and Warren and Bette divorced, and Warren just walked out on the family. Bette had to work as a single mother, and often left Mike with his Aunt Kate, and when Kate wasn't able to look after him, Bette took him to Hilda and Zelda.
"This is all very confusin'," Mike said.
"You'll get the hang of it," Hilda said.
"Why couldn't my mother have told me this?" Mike asked.
"You know your mother," Zelda said. "Work, work, work, work, work. And Kate couldn't make it out here to tell you. So they sent us. But listen, there's something important you need to know."
"What's that?" Mike asked.
"For one entire week," Zelda continued. "There will be a full moon every night, and that will happen this week. Everyone related to Artemis McMurray gets their powers from the moon."
"So I take it the Spellmans get their powers from the sun?" Mike asked.
"It doesn't always work out that way," Hilda said.
"But the moon is very important," Zelda said. She took something out of her pocket. It was a blue crystal, hanging on a gold chain. She unfastened it, and clasped it around Mike's neck. "There."
"What is it?" Mike asked, looking at the crystal.
"It's a Moon Crystal," Hilda explained. "When the moonlight shines on it, it will transfer your magic into you."
"You can only get your powers through the Blue Moon," Zelda said.
"Blue Moon?" Mike asked.
"Yes," Zelda said. "You've heard the saying once in a Blue Moon?"
"We came up with it," Hilda said. "But we were referring to a different Blue Moon than what scientists call a blue moon. Blue Moons happen once every three hundred years. Very few half witches recieve their powers in this special way. Most of the time, the powers are just . . . . there."
"And every three hundred years, the moon turns different colors every night of the week," Zelda said. "There's a White Moon on Sunday, a Pink Moon on Monday, a Red Moon on Tuesday, an Orange Moon on Wednesday, a Yellow Moon on Thursday, a Green Moon on Friday, and finally, a Blue Moon on Saturday."
"Tonight will be the white moon," Hilda said. "Last night was the regular full moon."
"And when the moonlight of the Blue Moon hits your crystal," Zelda said. "Then you will fully come into your powers."
"So it has to be done Satuday night," Mike said. "Before sunrise next Sunday."
"That's right," Zelda said, smiling.
Mike nodded, and stood up. He held the crystal in his fist and began walking around the room for a moment. He glanced out the window and saw Davy, Micky, Peter, and Fluey fooling around on the beach. He watched the seagulls flying about, screeching their heads off. Mike then looked down at they crystal, and then over to his aunts. Then he yanked the crystal off his neck and threw it across the room as hard as he possibly could.
"I won't do it!" Mike shouted. "I don't know the first thing about this stuff!"
"Mike, you have to," Zelda said, picking up the crystal. "Your powers now aren't strong enough. And besides, it's part of who you are."
"And your powers will fluctuate if you lose your temper," Hilda said. "That will cause some serious magic to happen, and it can be unpredictible without the moonlight. And not only that, but you have very limited power. It will go out before you get a chance to get the moon power, then you'll really need that Blue Moon!"
"If you don't get the power of the Blue Moon in that crystal before the sun rises Sunday morning," Zelda said. "You could lose your powers!"
"I don't care!" Mike shouted. "I don't want this stupid crystal, I don't want those stupid magic powers, and I don't want to be a witch! Fine with me if I lose them! Who needs them?! And besides, you're probably just makin' it all up!"
"But Mike!" Hilda shouted.
Mike didn't answer. He turned away from his aunts and stormed out the back door, and down the stairs to the beach. Hilda and Zelda looked at each other. Zelda took the Moon Crystal, and held it against her chest.
"Oh dear," she said. "I knew he'd react like that. I just knew it."
"Yeah, he didn't take it well," Hilda said. "But then again, he doesn't take things well. Most things, anyway."
"Hilda, we have to convince him to recieve his powers!"
"Zelly, the only thing that will convince him to recieve his powers will be to tell him what will happen to him if he doesn't! We have to tell him that he'll . . . ."
"Don't you dare say it!" Zelda slapped her hand over her sister's mouth to prevent her from going on. "I don't like to think about it. And we can't tell him, anyway. It will only make him nervous, and he has to do this on his own."
Hilda groaned. She didn't like the thought of being a statue for eternity. But she knew she and Zelda had to convince Mike to recieve his powers. At least they had until sunrise next Sunday to do it.
Mike was skulking down the beach, thinking about what his aunts just told him. He just couldn't believe this was happening to him. He ran into Micky, Davy, and Peter, and they were tossing a beach ball around.
"Hi, Mike," Micky said. "What are you doing out here?"
"I needed some air," Mike said. "My aunts just dropped the news on me, and I just can't believe it."
"What was it?" Davy asked.
"I'm not ready to repeat it," Mike said. "You'd never believe it. Matter of fact, even I don't believe it! Incidentally, where's the kid?"
"Fluey?" Peter asked. "He's out surfing."
"Does he even know how to surf?" Mike asked.
"Well, no," Peter said, shrugging. "But he said how hard can it be, and Micky lent him his surfboard."
"That surfboard's bigger than he is," Mike said, looking out into the ocean. The other three followed.
Fluey was balancing on Micky's surfboard pretty well. But it still made Mike a little nervous. Actually, it made all four Monkees a little nervous. But Fluey was a pretty good surfer, for a kid who grew up in Connecticut. The relief didn't last long. A giant wave came crashing down on Fluey. It had to be at least forty feet high. Needless to say Fluey wiped out, and he was swept underneath the water.
"I don't like the looks of this," Mike said, a little nervously.
"I'm sure he'll be back up any minute," Peter said, trying, unsuccessfully, to reassure himself.
Mike wasn't convinced. Suddenly, something began bubbling in the water. A blast of water flew up like a fountain, and on the top of it was none other than Mr. Zero. Fluey was with him, but he appeared to be in some kind of trance.
"Hello, all," he said. "Nice to see you. Peter, your nephew is an exceptional swimmer, but how long can he hold his breath under water?"
"What do you mean?" Peter asked.
"Well, my payment for the harp, of course!" Mr. Zero laughed. "You said I could take something of equal or greater value than your soul, remember?"
"You can't mean . . . . " Peter said, starting to get nervous.
"I can, and I do," Mr. Zero said, with a smirk. "It's your choice, Mr. Tork. Either give up your nephew, or give up your soul."
"That's low, even for you, Zero!" Mike shouted, thrusting an accusing index finger at the devil.
"That's one of the things I've always prided myself on," Mr. Zero said, coming down to Mike's level. "You have five minutes to decide, Mr. Tork."
"Mike, what do I do?" Peter asked, looking at his Texan friend.
"Nothin'," Mike said. "Absolutely nothin'. Zero, you can not force Peter to make a decision like this! Take back the stupid harp and get outta here before I lose my temper!"
"What use have I for the harp?" Mr. Zero asked. "I want his soul! And if I can't take his soul, I'll take the boy's soul. It's a fair trade. I asked Mr. Tork if he would be willing to give up something of equal or greater value."
"I'm warnin' you, Zero," Mike said, pointing his finger at the devil. He was about ready to lose his temper. "You take your harp and get outta here and leave us alone, or I'm gonna . . . ."
With every word, Mike's voice rose, and he thrusted his finger back and forth. Before he could follow through on his threat, sparks began to fly from his index finger, and that led to a gigantic beam of light, shooting right out of his it, and it hit Mr. Zero square in the chest. He was knocked off his feet, and taken aback. The minute he was down, Fluey had been released from his trance, but he ended up collapsing on the sand unconscious. Peter ran to him to make sure he was okay. Mr. Zero just looked at Mike, wide eyed and slack jawed. Mike, Davy, and Micky had the same expressions on their faces as well.
"You," Mr. Zero said, once he got his wits back. "You're one of them! You are one of them! Ha, ha! This is wonderful! Absolutely marvelous! If you're one of them, then you gave Tork the ability to play the harp after I took it away! I knew it couldn't have been the power of love! There's no such thing as the power of love! This is delightful. I must convein a court and tell them of this new evidence! Your soul will be mine, Tork! Mine I tell you!"
Mr. Zero then disappeared, cackling madly. Mike just stood there, too shocked to move. He had no idea what Mr. Zero was talking about, either. All he knew is that his aunts had been right. He really was part witch. Micky and Davy ran over to Mike, surprised as anything.
"Mike, what did you just do?!" Micky shouted.
"Yeah, man, 'ow could that light've come out of your fingah?" Davy asked.
"Did that really happen?!" Micky asked again.
"It did," Mike said, nodding absently. "Micky, could you do somethin'? Could you stand right there, and Davy, you stand over there."
Micky and Davy glanced at each other, and then stood in the places where Mike wanted them to, but they were a little confused.
"Why do you want us to stand here, Mike?" Micky asked.
"So you can catch me when I faint," Mike said. And with that, his eyes rolled back into their sockets, and he fainted. Micky and Davy caught him before he hit the ground. Peter looked over at them, and became even more nervous.
"What's wrong with Mike?" he asked.
"Man, I don't know," Micky said.
"We'd bettah get 'im, and Fluey, back to the Pad," Davy said. "Petah, you take Fluey. Micky and I 'ave got Mike."
Peter nodded, lifted Fluey off the sand, and followed Micky and Davy up the back stairs to the Pad. Hilda and Zelda were still there, and they immediately got to their feet when they saw Davy and Micky come into the Pad, with Peter right behind them.
"What happened?" Hilda asked.
"I don't know, he just fainted," Micky said.
"This light or something shot out of 'is fingah and he just passed out," Davy said. "Is 'e gonna be okay?"
"I'm not sure," Zelda said. "Get him over to the couch, quick!"
"I'll just get out of the way," Peter said, and he carried his nephew up the stairs to the second floor bedroom.
Once Mike was on the couch, Zelda began patting his cheek gently, to wake him up.
"Mike?" she asked. "Mike's it's me, Aunt Zelda."
Mike stirred for a moment and started to wake up. Peter came back down the stairs and looked over at them.
"How's Mike?" he asked.
"He's fine," Hilda said. "Nothing to worry about."
"How's Fluey?" Micky asked.
"Sleeping," Peter said. "I checked everything I knew how to check. He's fine. He probably won't remember what happened when he wakes up."
"I can't believe it," Mike said. "I just can't believe it. "Mick, call Reggie and Quacky and Jerry. Get them over here. Have I got news for all of you!"
Micky went to the phone, and Mike went back down on the couch. He closed his eyes, covered them with his hands, and groaned. He was going to need all his strength to tell this to everybody. Fifteen minutes later, the sound of a motorcycle was heard out back. It stopped, and footsteps came thumping up the back stairs. The back door open, and in came a green anthropomorphic duck, with purple hair and blue eyes. He wore a black leather jacket, blue jeans, black boots, and carried a black motorcycle helmet under his arm. It was Micky's friend, Reggie Bushroot.
"Hey, Mick!" he called. "Got the call and came over. What's cookin'?"
"Something up with Mike," Micky said. "And believe me, Reg-Man, I can't tell you more than that, because I don't know myself!"
A knock on the door was heard next. Davy went to answer it. It turned out to be disc jockey Jerry Blavat. Davy wasn't too thrilled to have him there, and the feeling was mutual, but Mike had wanted him there, so he came. He and Davy would just have to put up with each other.
"So what's the story on this, Davy?" he asked.
"Beats the 'eck outta me," Davy said. "And if Mike wants this to be a secret, I'd bettah not 'ear you blabbing it around town on that radio show of yours, Geatah. You should change your name from Jerry Blavat to Jerry Blab-It."
Jerry threw Davy a dirty Look, and walked over to the couch, where Mike was still laying. Davy closed the door, but he ended up smacking somebody with it first.
"Ow!" the person on the other side shouted. Davy opened the door again, and saw his friend, Quacky Quackerstein, standing there. Quacky was an anthropomorphic duck, like Reggie, only he was white, and had long brown hair held in a ponytail, and bangs that hung in his face.
"Sorry, Quacky," Davy said. "I didn't see you."
"That's okay, Davy," Quacky said, adjusting his beak back into alignment. "So what's going on?"
"We'll give the floor to Mike," Micky said.
"First of all," Mike said, sitting up. "These are my aunts, Hilda and Zelda. Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda, these are three friends of ours, Reggie, Jerry, and Quacky. And you've meet Micky, Davy, and Peter. You would've met Fluey, but he's up there sleepin' off a slight accident, so you'll meet him later. And I'll explain that slight accident to the two of you later as well."
"So why'd you call this meeting, Mike?" Reggie asked. "It couldn't possibly be because you wanted to introduce your aunts to us."
"I have to tell you guys somethin'," Mike said. "My aunts just told me, and I'm still gettin' over the shock."
"It can't be that bad, Mike," Peter said.
"It is," Mike said, taking a breath. "I'm a witch. Or warlock, or whatever."
In one ear and out the other. That was the response. The boys just stood there for a minute. And then the news sank in.
"You're a WHAT?!" they all screamed at once.
"Witch," Mike said. "Well, half witch, anyway."
"'Ow can that 'appen?" Davy asked.
"I guess a witch and a man meet or a warlock and a woman meet," Micky said. "Uh, which is it?"
"Witch and a mortal," Mike said. "My mother's side of the family has the witchcraft. And I don't know if my father knows about it. So to make a long story short, mostly because I don't know most of the darn story, my mom's a witch, my Aunt Kate is a witch, and several aunts and uncles and cousins are witches."
"So, uh, you're a witch, huh?" Micky asked. "And your aunt Kate is a witch. And your cousins in Texas are witches?"
"Well, Lucy and Clara are the lucky ones," Mike said. "Aunt Zelda said they didn't inherit any special powers. They said that if a warlock marries a mortal woman, the girls inherit the powers. If a witch marries a mortal man, the boys inherit the power. Well, guess what?"
"You got powers," Reggie said. "That's pretty cool. Can you turn the tax man into a beetle?"
Reggie cracked up. He just started laughing like crazy. It was obvious to Mike that he didn't believe him. So, Mike concentrated on what he wanted to do and snapped his fingers. Lightning flashed across the room and Reggie was completely singed.
"Convinced?" Mike asked. Reggie coughed.
"Yeah," he said. "You made a believer out of me."
"Good," Mike said, then he sighed. "I just don't know what I'm gonna do."
"What's wrong, sweetie?" Zelda said, sitting down next to Mike.
Mike took a deep breath and told Hilda and Zelda (and Reggie, Jerry, and Quacky for that matter) all about the incident with Mr. Zero and the pawn shop, which included everything that happened the day before and a few minutes ago.
"So now that I've shown off my magic in front of Zero," he concluded, "he somehow thinks I gave Peter the ability to play the harp when he took it away. But I didn't because I didn't have my magic yet, but I don't think they'd believe it. What am I gonna do?"
"Maybe if we can find a copy of the contract," Zelda said. "We'll see when Peter signed it, and then we'll check out your records, Mike."
"What would they have to do with this?" Micky asked.
"If Peter signed the contract before a certain date," Hilda said. "Then Mike couldn't have possibly given Peter the power."
It seemed like it was a good idea. While they were doing that, Mike was just finishing telling his story for the third time. This time to Valerie who had come over only to be meeting Fluey, and to Fluey, for that matter, who had recovered quickly from his surfing mishap.
"This is beyond cool!" Fluey shouted.
"You may think so, kid," Mike said. "But I sure don't! I don't have them all yet. My aunts said somethin' about gettin' them this week from the moon, but I don't think I will."
"Why not?" Valerie asked.
"Yeah, I'd think it be kind of fun to have magical powers," Quacky said.
"That's just it," Mike sighed. "I don't want them! I don't want to be a witch! I just want to be a normal, every day, out of work musician! My aunts said until I get my powers from this Blue Moon Saturday night, I have limited magic in my system. If I use it up before I get in the moonlight, that's it. And if I don't get them from the Blue Moon, I lose my magic completely. Sounds good to me, actually."
"Well . . . ." Fluey said. "Can you at least show us your powers before you get rid of them?"
Mike shrugged and snapped his fingers, and a dove flew out of Micky's hair. Micky got a funny look on his face.
"Well," he said. "I guess you can call me a bird brain now."
The others immediately cracked up. As they were laughing, a clap of thunder was heard and smoke filled the room. When it cleared, there stood Mr. Zero. Valerie, Fluey, Jerry, Reggie, and Quacky stared at him, completely shocked.
"Is this that Zero guy?" Fluey asked.
"Darn right," Mike said. "Well if it ain't ol' Smokey. What do you want now?"
"Just delivering a little something," Mr. Zero said, snapping his fingers. Everyone in the room was now holding an envelope.
"What the heck is this?" Reggie asked, as he opened the envelope. He read through it, and gave the others a strange look. "A summons to appear in court?!"
"You gotta be kidding me!" Jerry shouted.
"Yeah, Zero, leave Val and Fluey and Reggie and Quacky and Jerry out of this!" Micky shouted. "They don't have anything to do with it!"
"They shall serve as witnesses," Mr. Zero said. "The trial is set for tonight, right before midnight. And if you don't show, Mr. Nesmith, I recieve Mr. Tork's soul by default!"
And with that, Mr. Zero disappeared. The Monkees and their friends looked at each other. If Mike was found guilty, Peter's soul would belong to Mr. Zero. It didn't give Hilda and Zelda a lot of time to search through the records. There was no way out of this.
"This is bad," Davy moaned. "What ah we gonna do?"
"I don't know," Mike said. "Man, if only I didn't have the power of witchcraft."
"I just hope your aunts get back before the trial," Peter said.
"So do I, Pete," Mike said, sighing. "So do I."
A few moments later, Hilda returned to the Pad, empty handed. Mike looked at her oddly, and then looked around the rest of the room.
"Where's Aunt Zelda?" he asked.
"Still looking," Hilda said. "I just came back to check in."
"Well stop checkin' in and go look for the stuff!" Mike shouted. "Zero was just here and the trial's tonight!"
"Tonight?!" Hilda shouted. "Oh no. It's going to take longer for us to find the information we need!"
"Then stop talkin' to me and go look for it!"
"All right, already. Sheesh Mike, you're pushier than Zelda!"
Hilda pinged out. Mike massaged his forehead. Something was telling him that this was not going to be easy. At eleven thirty, Zero returned to the Pad, and transported everyone into his court room. The Monkees sat behind a desk at the front of the courtroom, while the others sat in the audience. All except Jerry. He had gone to the library to look up something, and he was at his apartment looking things over.
"Did your aunts find a copy of the contract and your records, Mike?" Davy asked.
"Not yet," Mike groaned. "I hope they find them soon."
"I wonder what Jerry has up his sleeve?" Micky asked.
"Beats me," Mike said. "But he probably won't show up."
"If you want him here, Nesmith, it can be arranged," Mr. Zero said. Then he turned to the judge. "Your honor, if I may state my case, I am here to prove that, even though Mr. Peter Tork was found not guilty, because he had played the harp after I had taken the power away, that another gave him the power. There is no such thing as the power of love."
"That's not true!" Davy shouted, jumping to his feet. "There really is a powah of love!"
"Quiet in the court!" the judge shouted. "Proceed, Mr. Zero."
"Thank you," Mr. Zero said. "Although I did not get Mr. Tork's soul out of the deal, I was owed something since I gave him the harp in the first place. And he agreed that I could take something of equal or greater value."
"Yeah, but he neglected to tell us that happened to be his nephew, which is too high a price in my opinion!" Mike shouted.
"Keep that up, Mr. Nesmith, and I won't need to make my next point," Mr. Zero said, sneakily. "Your honor, when I went to collect, Mr. Nesmith blew not only his temper, but he blew magic out of his finger. And his friends had witnessed it, am I correct boys?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Davy groaned. "All three of us saw 'im."
"Therefore, Mr. Michael Nesmith is a witch," Mr. Zero said.
"Half witch," Mike corrected. "My father is a mortal."
"Yes, well," Mr. Zero said. "Even a half witch could have given Mr. Tork the skill he needed to play the harp. Love had nothing to do with it, your honor."
"But I didn't have my powers then!" Mike shouted.
"Do you have proof of this claim?" the judge asked.
"Well, my driver's license has my birthday on it," Mike said, taking his wallet out of his pocket. "And I'm sure Zero has a copy of the contract Peter signed. Just compare the dates. I didn't turn twenty-one yet!"
"I'm afraid your driver's license will not be satisfactory," Mr. Zero said. "You shall need your birth records."
"My date of birth is on my driver's license, and my birth certificate is all the way back in Texas!"
"Not your mortal records, boy! Your witch papers."
"Witch papers?! What the heck are witch papers?!"
"Silly boy. Don't you know that all witches, warlocks, and half breeds have them, even if they are born in the mortal world. Do you have them?"
"Well, no . . . . but my aunts should be comin' with it any minute."
As if that were their cue, Hilda and Zelda popped in. Jerry was with them, and he joined Reggie, Quacky, Valerie, and Fluey. They noticed he was carrying a huge book, and wearing a pair of glasses.
"What's with the glasses?" Micky asked.
"Small print," Jerry answered. "I found this book at the library, and there's got to be something in here we can use!"
"Thank goodness you guys showed up," Mike said. "Give 'em my papers and we can get the heck outta here!"
"Uh, Mike," Hilda said. "There's a slight . . . . problem with that. Tell him, Zelda."
"We can't find your papers," Zelda said. "We've looked everywhere we can think of, and we just can't find them."
"You must be joking!" Davy shouted.
"We're not joking," Hilda said. "We even went to your mother, Mike. We went to Uncle Fried, Kate, and practically all the relatives, just in case they had copies of the papers, but they didn't."
"I can't think of what we did with your records," Zelda said. "I'm so sorry, Mike."
"There you have it, your honor," Mr. Zero said. "Mr. Nesmith does not have his witch papers, and therefore, can not prove that he did not have his powers on the date in question."
"But I'm positive I didn't have my powers!" Mike shouted. "I wasn't twenty-one yet!"
"Since there is no proof of the claim," the judge said. "I find the defendant, Mr. Michael Nesmith, guilty! Mr. Zero is awarded the soul of one, Peter Tork, as stated in the contract."
"Wha?" Micky asked.
"Hey, wait a minute!" Reggie shouted. "This can't be legal!"
Jerry began to search through the book frantically, skimming the pages as fast as he could. He was a champion speed reader. He finally came to something, and looked up.
"Wait a minute!" Jerry said. "Just wait a minute! Before you do anything . . . ."
"You're a little late, Jerry," Davy said. "They've already passed sentance!"
"We'll call this an appeal then," Jerry said. "On page one thousand three hundred twenty-two of this book here. I have found . . . . the loophole."
"You have," Mr. Zero said, dryly.
"Ah, Jerry, you know we have great respect for your screwball ideas, but . . . ." Mike started
"Before you go on about my screwball ideas, Mike, I'm serious," Jerry continued. "I checked out this book from the library and I found the loophole. Of course, it might be dangerous."
"Let us be the judge of that," Mr. Zero said. "What does this loophole say?"
"Give me a sec," Jerry said, holding up the book. He pushed his reading glasses up, and started to read. "It says the party of the first part, which is Peter, agrees to give his soul to the party of the second part, which is Mr. Zero, in exchange for what he wishes, which is that harp, or whatever it is. I don't know the entire story. I wasn't there."
"Just get on with it, Blabbermouth," Davy mumbled.
"Anyway," Jerry said, throwing Davy a dirty look. "The party of the third part, which is Mike in this case, is entitled to challenge the party of the second part to a magic duel over the party of the first part's soul. If the party of the third part wins the magic duel, the party of the second part agrees to release the party of the first part. If the party of the second part wins, then the party of the second part is entitled to keep the party of the first part's soul, and he is entitled to take the party of the third part's soul as well. If the party of the third part forfeits, the party of the second part recieves the soul of the party of the first part only, and the party of the third part is free to go."
There was a moment of silence while everyone in the court room looked at Jerry like he was totally loon crazy.
"Wha?" Micky asked.
"You want to translate that into English?" Reggie asked.
"In lamens terms," Jerry said. "Mike and Zero duke it out with their powers, if Mike wins, Peter goes free. If Zero wins, he gets Peter's soul, and Mike's soul along with it."
"You gotta be kiddin' me!" Mike shouted.
"I'm afraid that's what the book says," Jerry shrugged, closing the book.
"No, uh-uh, absolutely not, no way!" Mike shouted. "There is no way in the world I'm gonna have a duel with Zero!"
"Before you get your knickahs in a twist, Mike," Davy said. Jerry gave the short British Monkee a confused Look before he continued. "Jerry, are you sure there's no othah way?"
"He's right," Zelda said. "The only way out is a magic duel between Mike and Zero."
"But . . . ." Mike started, but Mr. Zero interupted him.
"If that's how you want it," he said, with a smirk. "Then I accept the challenge. We will meet here on Saturday night. Mr. Tork will be staying with you until then. And the outcome of his fate, and yours, Mr. Nesmith, will be decided Saturday."
"We'll be there!" Micky shouted.
"Hold it!" Mike shouted.
"Too late, Nesmith," Mr. Zero said. "Once the challenge is accepted, you can not go back on it!"
Mr. Zero laughed, and sent them all back to the Pad, where they belonged. They were all worried about the upcoming duel.
"Is that right?" Davy asked.
"'Fraid so," Jerry said, looking in the book.
"Oh you and your big mouth!" Mike shouted at Jerry. "How in the world could you do somethin' like that to me?! I can't fight Zero!"
"Yes you can," Zelda said. "Once you get your powers . . . ."
"I told you before!" Mike shouted. "I'm not gettin' my powers! I refuse to take them!"
"But Mike, it's the only way to save Uncle Peter!" Fluey said.
"I'm not gonna fight him!" Mike yelled. "And I'm not gonna take my powers!"
"But Mike, it's vital that you do let them come into your body," Zelda said. "If you don't . . . ."
"Forget it, Aunt Zelda!" Mike shouted. "You can't convince me to do it! And I won't! End of story!"
"But what about Uncle Peter?" Fluey asked.
"Yeah, Mike, if you don't show up for the duel, Zero gets Peter by forfeit," Jerry said. "He's not entitled to your soul if you forfeit. He only gets that if he beats you."
"I'll think of somethin'," Mike said. "I can tell you now, I'll think of somethin', but I am not fightin' in this duel!"
And with that, Mike stormed upstairs. He wanted to be alone. The others had to think. They had to find a way out of this mess. And so far, the only way out was for Mike to fight the duel, and for that, he needed to absorb his powers from the moonlight. And he clearly did not want to do that. An entire week went by. The Monkees and their friends were wracking their brains out trying to figure out what to do. Hilda and Zelda were going all over the place trying to find Mike's witch papers. They just didn't know where to find them. And if that weren't bad enough, they were all trying to convince Mike to go get his powers from the Blue Moon. Hilda and Zelda were the worst. When they came back Saturday morning, they just kept barraging him, as well as the others.
"Mike, you've got to take your magic!" Zelda shouted, handing him the Moon Crystal.
"For the millionth time, no!" Mike shouted, losing all his patients for the matter whatsoever. And because of that, sparks flew from his fingers, and began bouncing off the walls like a pinball. They made the same sound effect to. Reggie ran to the window, and opened it. The spark shot outside before it could do any damage.
"Good move, Reg," Micky said.
"BWAAAKKKK!" came the squawk of a seagull. Reggie looked out the window, and looked at the others.
"Uhh, anyone up for roasted seagull for dinner?" he asked.
"Mike, there's no way out," Valerie said. "Zero's accepted the challenge, and that means you have to get your magic. If you don't, you'll never win the duel!"
"And if you don't show up for the fight tonight, Zero gets Uncle Peter's soul by forfeit!" Fluey shouted.
Mike looked at the crystal in his hand. Then he folded his fingers over it, and gripped it tightly. He turned away from the others, and started up the stairs. The others just watched him. It was obvious that he wasn't going to get his powers. He refused to accept the fact that he was half witch. He didn't want them, and he wasn't going to take them. The others just didn't know how to convince him.
"Something tells me he's not going to show up for the fight tonight," Quacky said.
"Well, we can't force him," Zelda said. "Goodness knows, we've tried that method before."
"Jerry, is this the only option?" Micky asked.
"Unfortunately yes," Jerry said. "I went through that thing cover to cover looking for something else for the entire week, and there's absolutely nothing else we can do!"
About two hours later, Mike came back down the stairs, looking towards the floor, with his hands jammed in his pockets. Without so much as a word to the others, Mike opened the door, and started to go out.
"Where ah you going, Mike?" Davy asked.
Mike didn't answer. He just walked through the door and closed it behind him. Davy, Peter, and Fluey jumped up and ran out after him. Zelda followed a few moments later.
"Mike, wait a minute!" Peter called out. "Where are you going?!"
"Stop a second, Mike!" Davy shouted. "Come on, man! Talk to us!"
Mike didn't even look back. He pretended he couldn't hear them. He just continued walking.
"You can't walk away from this, Mike!" Zelda shouted, about ready to lose her own temper. "You just can't run away from this! It's part of who you are!"
Mike didn't acknowledge his aunt, and he didn't stop, either. There was nothing anyone could do at this point, except to let him go. Fluey watched him and turned to Peter, Davy, and Zelda.
"I just had an idea," he said. "Maybe Zero would agree to me giving him my soul instead of Uncle Peter's."
"Absolutely not!" Davy shouted. "Fluey, 'ow can you even suggest that?! That's a very bad idea."
"We don't want you to get involved in this," Peter said. "I'd never forgive myself if I let you do that."
"Well, then what are we gonna do?" Fluey asked.
"I don't know," Zelda said, with a sigh. "I just don't know."
The group went back inside. It was all they could do at this point in time.
Mike, in the meantime, was sitting by himself on a park bench, just thinking. He didn't know what to do. He didn't want magic powers, and he sure didn't want Zero to get his hands on Peter's soul. He heaved a sigh, and held his head in his hands.
"What am I gonna do?" he asked himself.
"Well, for starters, you can get back to your place so we can think this through a little more," a familiar voice said. "Just sitting here isn't gonna do anything, Mike."
Mike looked up and saw Jerry standing next to the bench. Mike scooted over so the disc jockey could sit down.
"How'd you know I was here?" Mike asked.
"Lucky guess," Jerry said with a shrug. "This is a good place to think, and I sort of figured that's what you wanted to do when you left."
"Look, Jerry, I really don't want those stupid powers! And I know that without them, I'll never beat Zero, and if I don't show up to the duel tonight, he gets Peter's soul anyway . . . . Jerry, I can't win!"
"Something tells me this isn't just about you not wanting those powers. Come clean, my man. What's up?"
"What are you, a psychiatrist now?"
"Look, I get a lot of teenage listeners on my radio show, and sometimes, in between requesting music, they just want to call in and talk, so this job does require some level of psychology. So what's the truth over this?"
"Okay, the truth is . . . . well, I never really delt well with change. I mean, here I am, out in California startin' a new life. I meet three great guys and we perform a band. Now I'm twenty-one years old, and my aunts pop in and tell me I'm a witch, and I have until sunrise tomorrow to get my powers, and to top it all off, a devil I had to deal with once, which was one time too many, is back and he wants Peter's soul, and nothin' is gonna stop him from gettin' it . . . . Jerry, I'm just plain scared of what's gonna happen! I don't want these magic powers! I don't know how to use them! And I don't know how to beat Zero. And I'm just so scared that he'll beat the tar outta me, and not only will I be lettin' Peter down, I'd be lettin' myself down. I just can't do it!"
Jerry didn't really know what he could say. He was silent for several seconds (a first for him), and then he finally stood up.
"Well, quitting won't get you anywhere, either," he said. "Mike, listen. This magic thing is a gigantic change in your life. It's gonna take some getting used to. But you've got to get those powers if you're gonna defeat Zero."
"Well, let's get back to the Pad and think a little more."
Mike nodded, and he and Jerry went back to the Pad. By that time, Mike's magic was completely out.
"I think the only way out is for you to take your magic," Valerie said.
"That or find my witch papers," Mike said.
"That won't do any good," Zelda said, pulling a piece of paper out of her bag. While Mike had left, Zelda and Hilda continued searching, and managed to find the papers. Zelda handed it to Mike, and he looked through them.
"If you've got my papers," Mike said, looking through the document. "Then why won't it do any good? It's got my birthdate on here plain as day, and comparin' it to the date Pete signed the contract . . . . ."
Zelda handed Mike a copy of the contract, and Mike compared the dates. He couldn't have possibly given Peter the ability to play the harp. Peter had signed the contract a month before Mike turned twenty-one.
"I don't get it," Mike said.
"Mike, this is hard to explain," Zelda said with a sigh. "See, a lot of times, before witches come of age, they sometimes have small powers in their systems that develop a month or two before they come of age."
"Oh brother," Mike groaned. "They'd never believe I didn't give him the power if we show them my papers, would they?"
"Mike, you have got to take your powers," Hilda said. "It's the only way out of this mess."
"But I don't want those powers!" Mike protested. Hilda and Zelda looked at each other, and sighed.
"I think we'd better tell him, Zelly," Hilda said.
"I'll do it," Zelda said. "Mike, we didn't want to tell you this before, but . . . there is a reason you just have to take your powers!"
"And what's that, might I ask?" Mike asked.
"If you don't recieve your powers," Zelda said, trying to figure out how to word this. "You could . . . . since your magic is part of your body, you will be unable to survive without it."
"WHAT?!" Mike shrieked, jumping to his feet. "Why in the world didn't you guys tell me that in the first place?!"
"We didn't want to worry you," Hilda said.
"Brother, now I'm gonna have to take them," Mike groaned. He looked out the window. The sun was setting. He sighed, and grabbed his crystal.
"Okay," he said. "Let's do this. If this is the only way out of this mess, then it's the only way."
The others watched as Mike walked outside onto the deck of the beach house. Once the sun set completely, the moon came up. Mike stared at it. It was definitely blue. He took out the crystal. The minute he held it out in the open, a beam from the moon shot towards it, and it illuminated. Then, Mike felt his muscles tense up. He found he couldn't move. Then he felt a tingling sensation throughout his body. He suddenly started to shake, and found he couldn't stop. He dropped to his knees, groaned, and pressed his hands against the floor. He tried to get up, but he couldn't. The others watched, growing more and more nervous by the second. Suddenly, a blue light surrounded Mike's body. Mike let out a shriek, and began to shake uncontrollably again.
"Maybe we ought to call an ambulance or something," Peter said, worriedly. "It looks like he's having a seizure!"
"Don't worry, it's okay," Hilda said. "The process is always a little painful the first time. This doesn't happen to all half witches, just certain ones. Mike just happens to be one of those types."
The others still weren't sure. Finally, the shaking stopped. The light from the crystal dimmed, and the glow surrounding Mike subsided. Mike was still kneeling on the ground, catching his breath. Then he stood up, walked back inside, and practically collapsed in a chair.
"I'm exhausted!" he shouted, breathlessly. "I can barely move!"
"Okay, good," Zelda said. "That means the transition worked."
"How's he gonna fight Zero like this?" Fluey asked.
"The fight isn't until midnight," Zelda said, pulling Mike to his feet and guiding him over to the couch. "That will give Mike plenty of time to rest."
"I 'ope so," Davy commented. "Because right now, 'e's in no shape to fight."
The others had to agree on that one. Mike took a deep breath, and closed his eyes, just for a second. The next thing he knew, it was ten minutes to midnight.
"Man, I just closed my eyes for one second," he said, running his hand through his hair.
"How do you feel, Mike?" Zelda asked.
"Strangely refreshed," Mike said, standing up and stretching. "Not sure if I'm ready for this fight, but I guess I'm as ready as we'll ever be."
That was all there was to it. The Monkees and their friends headed for the cemetary. Mr. Zero was there already, along with some others. There was no way out. The Monkees and their friends were going to watch, just to see what was going to happen. That was fine with Mr. Zero. He loved getting the chance to scare Peter out of his wits.
"After Nesmith loses," he said to him. "I'll be back for your soul."
"Can't you leave him alone?" Micky asked.
Mr. Zero smiled sneakily. Mike turned to his aunts.
"You sure there's no other way out?" he asked.
"Enough talk!" Mr. Zero shouted. "It's time to begin the battle!"
The other three Monkees and their friends were restricted to the side lines. Three people in judge's attire (white wigs and all) were seated at a table.
"Those are the judges," Mr. Zero said. "And they are going to be fair about this, I'm sorry to say. They've agreed."
Mike nodded. He didn't know what to expect. All he knew about him was that he had his powers, but he didn't know what good they would do him if he didn't know how to use them.
"And now without further ado," one of the judges said. "Let the battle begin!"
Mr. Zero made his first move. He sent lightning bolts hurling at Mike so fast, he had a hard time stopping them. He fought back, using his own magic, but his wasn't nearly as strong as Zero's.
"This doesn't look good," Reggie said.
"Isn't there anything you can do, Zelda?" Micky asked.
"I'm afraid not," Zelda said. "We aren't allowed to help Mike."
Mike was putting up a pretty good fight, but it wasn't easy since his powers weren't as strong as Zero's, since he was only half warlock. Mr. Zero was laughing. He knew he had Mike where he wanted him. He thought this fight was only a waste of time. Suddenly, Zelda realized something.
"The Blue Moon!" she shouted. "The minute when moon light hits Mike again, his powers will increase. He can get as much magic in his system as he needs as long as the moon is out!"
"Lucky for Mike, it's a clear night," Reggie said.
Sure enough, the moon rose to it's highest position and a tiny ray of blue moonlight centered on Mike. He lifted his hands and actually felt his power increasing. He gave a sly look to Zero and thrust his hands forward. A beam of magic appeared and sent the devil flying.
"Oh no," Zero groaned.
"Oh yes!" Hilda shouted. "Give him everything you got, Mike!"
"With pleasure!" Mike shouted.
Mike waved his hands around, and gave Mr. Zero a good jolt of electricity. Then he turned to the judges.
"Anybody else want a taste of this Blue Moon Magic?" he asked.
"Enough," the head judge said. "This battle is over. THe winner is Michael Nesmith!"
The Monkees and their friends cheered loudly. Zero was about to leave, but he turned to Mike.
"This isn't over yet, Nesmith!" he shouted. "Mark my words, I'll be back for you, and Tork!"
"Hit the road, Jack," Mike said.
"Yeah, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more!" Micky shouted.
Mike gave him an odd look, and snapped his fingers. He sent Zero back down below, where he belonged.
The next day, everything seemed to be back to normal around the Pad. However, one thing still bothered Davy.
"You evah think that Zero guy's gonna come back?" Davy asked.
"Who knows?" Mike asked. "I don't really care, either."
"Yeah. I'm just glad things ah back to normal."
Mike nodded. He picked up the newspaper and began to scour the want ads so they could pay the rent, but he was interupted by the sound of an explosion in the kitchen.
"Micky, what's goin' on in there?!" he shouted.
"Nothing Mike!" Micky shouted, in a tone that told Mike something was going on, but he wasn't going to say a word. Mike just sighed, shook his head, and went back to the newspaper.
"Oh yeah," he said. "Everything is definitely back to normal."